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Sunday, 11 April 2021

Jurors to hear arguments in Floyd murder trial

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Jurors to hear arguments in Floyd murder trial
Jurors to hear arguments in Floyd murder trial

Jurors will hear opening arguments in the trial of ex-cop Derek Chauvin, who stands accused of murdering George Floyd during an arrest last May.

This report produced by Zachary Goelman.

The murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, accused of killing George Floyd, is set to begin with opening statements on Monday (March 29).

Chauvin is one of four cops who arrested and subdued Floyd last May on suspicion that the 46-year-old African-American had tried to buy groceries with a counterfeit $20 bill.

Video of the arrest showed Chauvin put his knee on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes, while Floyd protested he could not breath.

Floyd's death sparked renewed and sometimes destructive protests against police brutality last summer across the U.S. and abroad.

Chauvin, who is white, was subsequently fired, and is now charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

He claims he was following police procedure when he arrested Floyd.

In pre-trail motions and through two weeks of jury selection, his lawyers tried to get the trial moved to a different county, arguing it would be impossible to find jurors unfamiliar with the case.

Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill rejected that bid, but criticized the city's decision to announce a $27 million settlement with Floyd's family while jurors were being vetted.

The most serious charge facing Chauvin carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.

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